Sony’s April 13 State of Play was dedicated entirely to Square Enix’s upcoming PS5-exclusive Final Fantasy XVI, showing off over 20 minutes of new gameplay ahead of the RPG’s June 2023 release.
Announced in September 2020, Final Fantasy XVI is the story of two royal brothers, Clive and Joshua Rosfield, princes of the kingdom of Rosaria. Joshua, the younger brother, has been blessed with the power of a Dominant, granting him control of the powerful Eikon Phoenix (along the same lines as the summons from many of the prior games). His older brother Clive, passed over for the Dominant’s power, becomes “The First Shield of Rosaria” and his brother’s sworn protector. He’s your main playable character. Joining the brothers Rosfield is Jill Warrick, a ward taken in by the Archduke of Rosaria from the fallen northern territories. Together the three must navigate a world of war and political intrigue after a bloody tragedy throws their lives into chaos.
Sony shows off new Final Fantasy XVI gameplay
Today, during the approximately 25-minute long State of Play, Square Enix showed off more about the game’s summons, Eikons, and also talked more about how the anticipated RPG will play on PS5.
The State of Play was introduced by Naoki Yoshida, the producer of Final Fantasy XVI, and all footage shown during the event was running on a PS5.
This new entry in the long-running franchise was designed from the ground up as the “first true action-RPG entry in the series,” and Yoshida compared it to a high-speed rollercoaster ride.
All combat in Final Fantasy XVI is in real-time. The fluid, flashy, and action-packed combat looks not unlike that of Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV. Clive’s dodges and strikes feel similarly fluid as moves seen in character-action games like Devil May Cry.
As previously mentioned, the game stars Clive Rosefield, and will take place across his teens, twenties, and thirties. Final Fantasy XVI will use flashbacks to show different and important moments from his life.
The game utilizes a world map screen which players can access whenever they want and can use it to explore the world, meeting new characters, fighting monsters, and solving mysteries. While visiting Cid’s Hideaway, players will be able to buy new items, and weapons and talk to quest givers, too.
Players can use abilities points, earned by defeating enemies, to unlock or upgrade different abilities. You can also let the game choose for you. FFXVI also includes various “timely accessories” that can help less-skilled players or folks not comfortable with “action gameplay.” One accessory, for example, will fully automate evasion during combat.
Sometimes Clive will be joined by other characters. But Square Enix promised that players won’t have to micromanage these party members. Instead, they will have their own AI and do their own things during gameplay.
Another cool feature shown off during the State of Play is Eikon Battles. These will be massive fights between God-like summons and each one will play differently. At one point in the video, a fight between flying creatures looked and played a lot like something from the Panzer Dragoon series. Wild!
What the Final Fantasy XVI logo might mean
The game’s logo could possibly reveal what the game’s main conflict will be. It depicts two of the Eikons, Phoenix and Ifrit, locked in battle. In a previously released trailer, Ifrit is seen tearing people to shreds while someone screams for it to stop. It seems then that battling and controlling Eikons will be central to Final Fantasy XVI’s plot.
Read More: How Square Enix Is Managing Hype Expectations For Final Fantasy XVI
Naoki Yoshida, director of the wildly successful MMO Final Fantasy XIV, is leading development on Final Fantasy XVI. Final Fantasy XVI will mark Square Enix’s return to making original installments in the Final Fantasy franchise after releasing Final Fantasy XV in 2016.
Final Fantasy XVI is set to launch exclusively on PS5 on June 22, 2023. A PC version is expected, though not confirmed, at an unknown future date.